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The Ultimate CJI Guide to Business Aircraft Connectivity

Dec 27,2018

¡°We are all now connected by the internet,¡± said the late Stephen Hawking, ¡°Like neurons in a giant brain.¡±

When it comes to choosing between different options for your private jet to connect with the rest of the world, it¡¯s easy to be confused or even bamboozled by technology. If that¡¯s you, remember the old story of the  farmer¡¯s wife who, on being offered a choice of cats, said she didn¡¯t care what color the creature was so long as it caught mice.

Do recall this quaint little tale as we take you through the plethora of connectivity options available. Select the system that does the job you need it to do.

Any event that causes an aircraft not to be able to take its next flight is a serious one. AOGs (Aircraft on Ground) events can range from engine issues to cracked windscreens, but an increasing number of events are because the onboard Wi-Fi isn¡¯t operational.

It is hard to underestimate just how much the internet has become part of our daily lives. We use it for everything, from paying our bills, to checking sports scores, and from keeping in touch with loved ones in distant places, to crushing soda and catching Pok¨¦mon.

It is also an integral part of our work lives. We write little electronic letters to each other all day, and an increasing number of us make our phone calls using VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology that uses the internet. One of the major benefits of playing at online casinoshttps://bonushitlist.com/is their bonuses and promotions.

When we are without the internet, we can feel lost. If you wanted to disconnect from the world 20 years ago all you had to do was take the phone off the hook and stop reading your post. Today you have to go through digital detox.

There are some places around the world that neither the internet nor a phone signal can reach ¨Cplaces such as the middle of deserts or the tops of mountains. For some, it can be the dream getaway. For others, it can be the worst nightmare possible.

It is not only the places that a phone signal cannot reach where we cannot get online. An aircraft is one of those places, although recent advances in technology mean that an increasing number of aircraft are internet equipped.

Being able to use the internet on a private jet is no easy feat. To the passengers in the back of the aircraft it looks simple enough, choose the correct network to connect to, enter a password and off they go.

Yet despite the challenges, passengers still expect to be connected whilst at 35,000 feet. To charter brokers an aircraft that does not have access to fast, reliable internet connectivity is harder to charter out than a well-connected aircraft.

¡°Many passengers will not fly without WiFi, without connectivity,¡± says Stephane Aligara, business development manager at ARINCDirect Cabin Services (now part of Collins Aerospace). Even if it is not an AOG failure, the passengers will not fly without connectivity, because they expect to be connected, for entertainment or for work. That connectivity that they have at home, they expect to have it in the air.¡±

But to be able to get to that stage takes a lot of work, it takes a lot of equipment. Although the prices of using the internet on an aircraft for the end user are coming down, the costs associated with providing the service are huge. From launching satellites to installing onboard equipment on the aircraft to pick up the signals, there are a lot of costs involved that the  passengers, the people using the internet, never see.

When aircraft owners choose which internet system to use onboard, they normally decide which supplier to go with. Behind that decision sits the provider¡¯s decision on what type of connection it will use. And behind that is the decision on what satellite system to use.

None of these matter to the end user, who remains oblivious to anything other than when they can¡¯t connect to the internet properly or if the connection is slow.

Much like with home Wi-Fi, there are different stages that a signal needs to go through to be able to reach the outside world from an aircraft. This can take anywhere up to eight hops, with the signal itself having to travel an estimated 100,000km from the onboard device, up to the satellite, down to servers on the ground, to the outside network and servers for the content being served, and all the way back up again.

In its simplest terms, all the owner of an aircraft cares about is the speed of the connection and that he or she will be able to get access wherever they fly.

They do not care about who provides the on-board router, or what satellite system it is using. As long as it works, they are happy.

There is a myriad of different companies providing internet services, but not all of them do the same thing. Some provide the onboard equipment to route the internet signal, some own satellites and some lease bandwidth from other providers.

If you were to ask owners what internet system they use on their aircraft, they might say Satcom Direct. Whilst Satcom Direct is part of the chain, it simply supplies the onboard routers that, in turn, connect to Inmarsat¡¯s satellite constellation, to provide a Ka-band solution.

¡°I think the reason that we need this type of guide is that a lot of people enter this market, and there is a lot of confusion about what you need¡± says Chris Moore, COO, Satcom Direct.

Considering the huge market of the civial aviation connection, more communication and deeper discussion are extremely vital from not only the global manufactures but also the main airlines and all the parts involved to build a connected-eco in the air. Therefore, the theme of ¡°The Power of Data, The Power of Connected¡±, the ¡°Connected Aircraft China Congress 2019¡± (CACC 2019) will be held in the city of Shanghai on April 17th - 18th, 2019. It aims to improve passenger experience, improve airline and passenger safety, grow ancillary revenues and improve operational efficiency. More than 15+ airlines, 3 main mobile operators, 4+ Aircraft OEMs, 10+ system integrator, 20+ equipment R&D companies and 15+ app developers will participate in this congress, register your interest or get in touch with marketing@galleon.cc for more details.

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